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From: "Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason" <>
To: Jeff King <>
	Jeff Hostetler <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/2] routines to generate JSON data
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2018 00:00:26 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Fri, Mar 16 2018, Jeff King jotted:

> I really like the idea of being able to send our machine-readable output
> in some "standard" syntax for which people may already have parsers. But
> one big hangup with JSON is that it assumes all strings are UTF-8.

FWIW It's not UTF-8 but "Unicode characters", i.e. any Unicode encoding
is valid, not that it changes anything you're pointing out, but people
on Win32 could use UTF-16 as-is if their filenames were in that format.

I'm just going to use UTF-8 synonymously with "Unicode encoding" for the
rest of this mail...

> Some possible solutions I can think of:
>   1. Ignore the UTF-8 requirement, making a JSON-like output (which I
>      think is what your patches do). I'm not sure what problems this
>      might cause on the parsing side.

Maybe some JSON parsers are more permissive, but they'll commonly just
die on non-Unicode (usually UTF-8) input, e.g.:

    $ (echo -n '{"str ": "'; head -c 3 /dev/urandom ; echo -n '"}') | perl -0666 -MJSON::XS -wE 'say decode_json(<>)->{str}'
    malformed UTF-8 character in JSON string, at character offset 10 (before "\x{fffd}e\x{fffd}"}") at -e line 1, <> chunk 1.

>   2. Specially encode non-UTF-8 bits. I'm not familiar enough with JSON
>      to know the options here, but my understanding is that numeric
>      escapes are just for inserting unicode code points. _Can_ you
>      actually transport arbitrary binary data across JSON without
>      base64-encoding it (yech)?

There's no way to transfer binary data in JSON without it being shoved
into a UTF-8 encoding, so you'd need to know on the other side that
such-and-such a field has binary in it, i.e. you'll need to invent your
own schema.


    head -c 10 /dev/urandom | perl -MDevel::Peek -MJSON::XS -wE 'my $in = <STDIN>; my $roundtrip = decode_json(encode_json({str => $in}))->{str}; utf8::decode($roundtrip) if $ARGV[0]; say Dump [$in, $roundtrip]' 0

You can tweak that trailing "0" to "1" to toggle the ad-hoc schema,
i.e. after we decode the JSON we go and manually UTF-8 decode it to get
back at the same binary data, otherwise we end up with an UTF-8 escaped
version of what we put in.

>   3. Some other similar format. YAML comes to mind. Last time I looked
>      (quite a while ago), it seemed insanely complex, but I think you
>      could implement only a reasonable subset. OTOH, I think the tools
>      ecosystem for parsing JSON (e.g., jq) is much better.

The lack of fast schema-less formats that supported arrays, hashes
etc. and didn't suck when it came to mixed binary/UTF-8 led us to
implementing our own at work:

I think for git's use-case we're probably best off with JSON. It's going
to work almost all of the time, and when it doesn't it's going to be on
someone's weird non-UTF-8 repo, and those people are probably used to
dealing with crap because of that anyway and can just manually decode
their thing after it gets double-encoded.

That sucks, but given that we'll be using this either for just ASCII
(telemetry) or UTF-8 most of the time, and that realistically other
formats either suck more or aren't nearly as ubiquitous...

  reply	other threads:[~2018-03-16 23:00 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 11+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2018-03-16 19:40 git
2018-03-16 19:40 ` [PATCH 1/2] json_writer: new routines to create data in JSON format git
2018-03-16 19:40 ` [PATCH 2/2] json-writer: unit test git
2018-03-16 21:18 ` [PATCH 0/2] routines to generate JSON data Jeff King
2018-03-16 23:00   ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason [this message]
2018-03-20  5:52     ` Jeff King
2018-03-17  7:38   ` Jacob Keller
2018-03-19 17:31     ` Jeff Hostetler
2018-03-19 10:19   ` Jeff Hostetler
2018-03-20  5:42     ` Jeff King
2018-03-20 16:44       ` Jeff Hostetler

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